Sanity returns to Accra Central Library

By
Morkporkpor Anku, GNA

Accra, Sept. 12, GNA – Management of the Ghana
Library Authority (GLA) has evicted traders occupying its premises to create a
serene and safe environment for library users.

The Accra Central Library, once described as
the most beautiful edifice in Gold Coast, was opened in 1956 by the Governor,
Sir Charles Arden Clarke and this was the formative years of public library
system.

The headquarters library as it is often
referred, for the past 30 years, has been turned into a market arena with
various trading activities on its premises, creating a noisy environment for
users of the Lending and Reference Libraries.

Mr Hayford Siaw, the Acting Executive
Director, GLA told the GNA after the eviction exercise that many parents
initially did not feel safe with the easy pass of pedestrians and hence
uncomfortable to leave their children in the library.

He said on assumption of office in January,
the new Management issued a directive to all traders on the premises to
relocate their businesses.

He said a three-month notice was given and the
tenants requested for an additional three months which was agreed.

Mr Siaw said “in spite of the resistance
by traders to relocate after the expiry of the six months, Management remained
resolute and today, the once market arena is quite and serene.”

He said over the years, various governments
have neglected the Authority, which led to it being a de-prioritised
institution.

The Acting Executive Director said in many
countries, public and school libraries play critical roles in improving
learning outcomes.

This was, however, not the case as various
educational strategic plans ignored the pivotal role of the library
institution.

He said this has led to the collapse of school
and under resourced public libraries, resulting in a low reading culture of
students.

He said it was for this reason that Government
was putting in place measures to improve the existing library facilities around
the country including stocking it with new books, computers and internet
access.

He said a digital library would soon be
launched that affords all students access to an online library portal. 

He said ‘’to achieve this noble goals, we need
to make sure that our facilities are safe and all efforts will be put in place
to sanitise these spaces and create the enabling environment for
learning.”

On patronage of library services across the
country, the Acting Executive Director said ‘’over 333,509 people visited the
60 libraries across its network in the first half of 2018, a more than 37 per
cent increase in visits over the same period in 2017.

He said the New Library membership for the
first half of the year also stood at 5075, a 13 per cent increase over the same
period in 2017.

He attributed the growth to increased
patronage to the outreach programmes and visibility being created by the new
management about the authority.

GNA

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